Our View: New kids on the block

Today's youths are lazy.

They have zero work ethic. They might as well be surgically fused to the living room couch and their brains hardwired directly into the X-box, the computer or the iPod.

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They are ill prepared for the world, and will do little but further the rapid decline of our society.

Those criticisms sound a bit harsh, no?

The editorial board discussed Monday the plight of today's youth.

Our conversation about youths began with some of the comments mentioned above, and to begin with, we concluded our children have become a spoiled, languid, bunch raised to believe the world owes them something.

In other words, surface-level opinions from adults judging the past through rose-colored glasses.

As society at large is prone to do when discussing our youth, the board was short-sighted and too quick to pass swift judgment on a generation that has yet to prove itself one way or another.

After we realized this, and began an honest assessment, we came to the following conclusions:

No. 1, adults need to relax.

Youths aren't any different today than generations before them. Yes, there are those who do stupid things, cause some trouble and are generally immature.

But, guess what? The generation before, and the generation before that, had the same type of youths.

Yes, today's kids have short-attention spans. Why is that? Because our adult society has force-fed youth with these devices of mass distraction.

So instead of recognizing that we -- adults -- have created these outlets for youths, in fact tolerated and allowed it, we bemoan their sedentary lifestyle.

No. 2, if adults want youths to succeed, we must give them opportunities.

Too often, we fall back on the self-serving and comfortable position of griping about youths not having our work ethic. Would it be different if our society made an effort to go out, find an enterprising youngster and offer him or her a chance?

Would it make a difference to that youngster by giving him or her an honest day's pay for an honest day's work? Would it make a difference by helping instill that work ethic we believe is so sorely missing? Would it make a difference if we showed our confidence in them by handing them responsibilities and our trust?

We believe it would, and we believe youths would respond to such an opportunity.

The editorial board asks the community to go out of its way to become part of the solution, especially now with school coming to an end and youths' free time in abundance, instead of the tired and true fall back position of complaining.

In the end, we think our youths might just surprise you, and allow you, as they did us, to dispel all those wild myths about this alleged wayward generation.

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